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China Hopes to Avoid War in Iraq: FM
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told visiting US Secretary of State Colin Powell that China hopes all parties concerned will try every possible means to avoid war in Iraq and seek a political solution to the Iraq issue within the framework of the United Nations.

During his talks with Powell in Beijing Monday morning, Tang said a political solution of the Iraq issue was in the interests of all the parties concerned. He expressed the wish that all such parties would keep in close contact, continue to work for a political solution and do everything possible to avoid war.

Powell briefed Tang on the United States' view of the current Iraq situation. He said the United States was planning to put forward a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council in the next few days.

Tang said most members of the international community, including China, believed it was imperative now to continue weapons inspection in Iraq to find out the truth, rather than working on a new UN resolution on Iraq.

At the same time, Tang said the Chinese side had always held that resolution No.1441 of the UN Security Council must be implemented in a comprehensive, sincere and precise way and Iraq should be more active and unconditional in its all-round cooperation with the United Nations.

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction must be completely destroyed, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2003)

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